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Everybody tells you that being a parent is incredibly hard work, but even so, for most new parents, the reality of just how tough it can be can still come as quite a surprise.
Being A Parent Is Really Hard Work
When you become a parent, your life is suddenly geared around taking care of someone else, who is completely dependent on you to protect and nurture them. In addition to the extreme joy experienced as a new parent, many struggle with a sense of loneliness during this period of adjustment. The first four months tend to be the toughest period to get through and even those with extremely solid support networks around them can struggle at times, experiencing a variety of highs and lows.
As a new parent, the chances are that you will be barraged with all kinds of contradictory advice, which can be rather confusing the first time around! However, regardless of your chosen approach or philosophy, the advice below regarding the importance of sleep and rest is sure to strike a chord with you…
The Importance Of Sleep
Sleep deprivation sucks – there are no two ways about it! Babies spend an awful lot of time sleeping in the first few months; however, their requirement for regular feeds means that your normal sleep patterns are completely disrupted at first.
When we are deprived of sleep, our emotions can go haywire and every little task and chore feels harder, and more of a challenge than it would in normal circumstances.
Prioritise Sleep Over Everything Else
Sleep therefore becomes a priority – not just for baby but for you too.
When you are well rested you feel more balanced and will find it easier to manage your commitments and relationships. There are always tasks to take care of, people to see and more exciting things to do, but make a point of prioritising your sleep and rest, and you are likely to find that everything else falls into place.
If the dishes pile up a little or you miss out on the odd social occasion, then so be it; have a nap – there will be plenty of time to catch up on all of this stuff later on and the world will not stop turning!
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
In the first few weeks as a new parent, you are likely to experience a wild rollercoaster of emotions. Overwhelming love and joy are feelings that are often interspersed with anxiety, tears and frustration too at times.
All of this is completely normal and it will soon pass, so it is essential to be kind to yourself and have realistic expectations. Becoming a parent is a huge transition (and there are no instruction manuals), so there is much to learn. Lean on those around you and ask for help when you need it. Having someone to take over the school run for an older child for a few weeks, or give you a hand around the home with everyday chores will make the world of difference.
Use this precious time to run a bath and have a soak, or to nip upstairs for a quiet powernap. Your health depends on quality sleep, good nutrition and a little exercise and with your batteries recharged, you will feel happier, healthier and in tune, ready to enjoy all of the most precious and memorable moments with your new baby.
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